Wichita Fire Department (WFD) officials have been helping battle raging wildfires currently driven by strong southerly winds.
Gov. Brownback has declared a State of Emergency in four counties, including Reno and Harvey counties, where WFD firefighters have been working with officials.
“We want to help our emergency service neighbors as much as we can” said Ronald D. Blackwell, Wichita’s Fire Chief. “They have been battling these fires for an extended period of time, they have to be exhausted, and we want to do what we can to help.”
The WFD has dispatched four Squad Units (brush trucks) and four support personnel, for a total of 12 personnel. The crews returned home earlier today but remain on call, said Fire Marshal Brad Crisp during Mayor Longwell’s weekly briefing Thursday at City Hall.
The State of Emergency authorizes state resources to assist communities affected by the fires.
The wildfires have been fueled by strong winds, with force sustained from the south at 43 mph with gusts of 59 mph. Through midnight, winds switched to the northwest with sustained speeds above 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
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